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BristolBridge-funded project wins a Longitude Prize Discovery Award

The Rapid AMR Detection Team

1 August 2017

Drs Massimo Antognozzi, Charlotte Bermingham and team have won prestigious Longitude Prize funding to help develop their rapid test to detect antimicrobial resistance and assist GP antibiotic prescribing

Drs Massimo Antognozzi and Charlotte Bermingham (Physics) and their project team - who were funded in our second pump-priming funding round to work on 'Early phase development of a primary care device to detect rapidly antibiotic resistance in common bacteria' - have been awarded a prestigious international Discovery Award from the Longitude Prize to develop their rapid test for antimicrobial resistance. 

BristolBridge's EPSRC funding provided proof of principle that their optical technique could rapidly detect whether E. coli bacteria were susceptible to antibiotics by determining if the bacteria were alive or not after an antibiotic was added. This Discovery Award seed funding will allow the team to develop a smaller, cheaper prototype based on their laboratory instrument and test a much wider range of samples and antibiotics in clinical settings. The prototype will be used to validate the technique in veterinary and hospital settings using clinical samples.

The aim is to develop a test which will enable healthcare professionals (such as GPs who prescribe 80% of antibiotics used in the UK) to prescribe effective antibiotics within 20 minutes (as no prior culture of the clinical sample is required, as is the case with current antibiotic susceptibility testing), informing optimal treatment and fewer complications as well as reducing the volume of antibiotics prescribed, thus slowing the spread of antibacterial resistance. A portable device also has implications for use in low to middle income countries to help slow the global spread of resistance.   

The interdisciplinary team which has expertise in physics, optical engineering, microbiology and social medicine, also comprises BristolBridge's Dr Matthew Avison (School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine), Dr Helen Baxter (Bristol Medical School), Dr Niamh Redmond (NIHR CLAHRC West), Dr Ruth Oulton (Dept. Electrical and Electronic Engineering and the School of Physics) and Dr Krishna Coimbatore Balram (Dept. Electrical and Electronic Engineering). The Avoidable Hospital Admissions Health Integration Team (ITHAcA HIT) is part of the wider collaboration supporting this work. 

Dr Antognozzi has also received support this year from the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute for Health Research MRC Confidence in Concept scheme  for 'Developing a mobile device for rapid antimicrobial resistance detection in primary care'.  

For further details, please see the University of Bristol's press release here: University of Bristol team develop a test to assist GP antibiotic prescribing and more on the team's winning entry on the Longitude Prize Discovery Awards website here: Rapid AMR Detection Team 




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